Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1970-06-24
Sony TC124 with unknown Sony dynamic mics
Subject: This is the one I keep coming back to
Subject: OH MY GOD!!! LOL
Subject: Absolutely amazing show...
The recording of this is outstanding given that it's an audience tape from 1970. Everything is quite clear, and there's just enough of the boisterous, ravenous audience on this recording to easily bring one to the conclusion that they were a big reason for the Dead's powerful performance. Who *wouldn't* want to play their absolute best for such an appreciative and wild audience? To me, the audience is essentially a part of the performance here; they are quiet when they should be and absolutely thunderous in applause during the many lysergic peaks and quiet, often dramatic segues into things both expected and unexpected. Lucky folks, one and all.
The version of Attics during the early acoustic set has to be the finest one I have ever heard. The vocals are almost impeccably good, and you can tell the audience digs it, too: it's silent in the hall as they perform it. The rest of the early acoustic set is good: very well-played, your typical 1970 acoustic set. There's an apparently very rarely-played (so rare that Deadbase 50 missed this version in one section, I noticed) song performed by Weir called Let Me In (83968) that's interesting, too. But the nearly perfect rendition of Attics is definitely the standout for me. However the real fireworks - both literally and figuratively - are in the late show electric set.
It begins with the Dead noodling about - "tuning up" for sure - but sometimes I wonder if they did that to build excitement and anticipation. If so, it certainly worked, because by the time that the powerhouse, well-oiled percussion machine of Kreutzmann and Hart kick into the manic tom-tom intro to Not Fade Away, the atmosphere - both on the stage and off - is truly electric. I can only imagine (and I find myself doing so every time I hear this set) what it was like to be there in that hall at that moment. I wish I knew firsthand, but imagining is the best I can do, and in my imagination, I can feel that sense of, "this is going to be one of THOSE shows." And it's clear from the outset that the Dead absolutely intend to make it just that. These boys came to PLAY; like when you're watching the Stanley Cup playoffs and one team comes out and just is banging, grinding, doing all they have to do...you know they want it and will stop at nothing to get it. In this case "it" is the great unknown, those great magical places that only the Dead knew were there, and that only they could find. From the get-go this NFA is just off the charts, the energy meter simply bubbled all the way to the top and just stayed there, unstable and ready to explode at any time. Will it? I guess we'll see as we journey deeper and deeper into space. Weir plays some pretty wild rhythm guitar throughout, essentially soloing at points, and providing perfect counterpart to Garcia and Lesh's musical conversation. Eventually, around the time of the frenzied vocal call and response near the end, you hear Weir hinting at Easy Wind. Garcia and the rest of the band quickly pick up on it, and a quite flawless transition takes place. Pigpen steps to the mike and just owns it. He means business for sure, and if you're wise you'll take heed and let Pig do his thing. Again, this is another standout performance. Me and My Uncle follows, a good version, but in comparison to what precedes it and follows it, it is essentially a lull in the storm.
More tuning follows, with Garcia telling the crowd that "Mickey has to get his gongs all together, and then we're gonna do Dark Star." He says more in that charming, intelligent tone of voice he had, but that is the meat and potatoes of it. Even though it was announced that they were gonna play Dark Star, I'm sure no one - perhaps even the band themselves - could've predicted just how incredible this 3-part Dark Star would possibly be. Pigpen replies, "This is gonna suck something good." This proclamation - a joke, I'm sure - couldn't have been further from the truth, because in no time at all the band takes this first installment of the song and starts weaving threads of pure magic and joy. There's almost a sensation of Garcia building up the feel and tempo like water flowing into a dam, everything building in intensity and becoming more dense, when all of a sudden there comes a point where Phil sustains this one note that gently breaks the tension, causing the band to enter into this gentle, quiet space that suggests that Jerry is about to sing the first verse. Not so fast, though: more jamming follows, gaining more intensity again, spiraling upward, and then gliding back down again into - finally - the first verse. After the verse they play with the theme for a bit, getting quieter, and then a feedback jam follows. Throughout, you hear the guitarists and Phil (with these haunting, lovely harmonic notes) hinting at a familiar theme: it is clear that out of the ashes of this feedback jam, another version of Attics is going to rise. And when it inevitably does, I absolutely love the knowing, appreciative clapping from the crowd. Even though the song had yet to be commercially released, they knew what was coming anyway (surely from the early show rendition) and showed their respect...amazing. No wonder the Dead loved New York. This version is *almost* as good as the early show rendition; it is very close, save for a little bit of off-key vocals at one point it's just about as good as the early show version. Out of Attics, they instantly launch into Dark Star again, and this middle part of the Dark Star sandwich is the absolute best of it: Jerry's guitar playing is absolutely out of this world; he plays these stunningly beautiful leads on top of the infectious groove the band is laying down behind him. The theme is very similar to the one they played (for example) during the Dark Star on Dick's Picks Volume 2, 10/31/71. But this one is so much further out there -somewhat long - and it seems like Weir wants to keep it going (and I wish they had) but Garcia churns out the chords to a very early, and quite undeveloped as yet, version of Sugar Magnolia. The words clearly aren't finished yet, and the song structure is still in its infancy, but this version is notable for the staggered vocals during the "knew she'd have to come up soon for air" bit. Check it out! It is quite cool and I rather like it. Sugar Mag simply melts with ease back into the final, somewhat short installment of Dark Star. After Jerry sings the second verse, Phil hits those notes and you know...they all must have, from the sound of it...that St. Stephen was on its way. What follows is an absolutely ripping version. The jam before "St. Stephen will remain..." reaches a fever pitch, band and audience alike going absolutely nuts. At the finish, Garcia instantly launches into China Cat Sunflower, which contains some interesting rhythm work from Weir complimenting the always-intricate work of Jerry and Phil. During the segue between China Cat and I Know You Rider, Jerry churns out these fat, choppy chords as once again, Weir lets loose. It is during the in-between verses of Rider that the energy meter doesn't so much as burst as perhaps simply crack open and gently drip down, for while Rider is hot, the energy of the Uncle John's Band that follows is one of sweetness - a great big musical smile, if you will. The perfect way to bring things back to Earth after a set so deeply entrenched in the outer reaches of space. After a crashing finale, the band leaves the stage and we hear Joan Baez singing "Pack Up Your Sorrows" through the PA. Were the house lights on at that point, or was the band simply building up the tension yet again for the encore? This I don't know, but what is apparent is that the crowd won't let the band leave the place without one more, and who can blame them? They cheer, they clap, they hoot and howl all through the Joan Baez song (afterwards too) and eventually the Dead take the stage with some members of NRPS for a nice, mellow acoustic version of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot that sends the crowd off into the night (or was it nearer to dawn, as some report?), to digest the possibility that they may just have witnessed the best Grateful Dead show of all time. Or at least one of them, anyway. To all the various people who taped this show, I cannot thank you enough. You allowed those of us not lucky enough to be there (or not even born yet, like me) to re-live the experience any time we want. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Subject: Unbelievable show. Lucky to be there
We all came back with thee transition from Dark Star into St Stephen when the pyrotechnics brought us back to the Capital. I recently met Billy K at a book signing and mentioned some of the strange places I went with them and his response was "I went there too!"
The show let out around 5:00 am when the sun was just coming up.
Those runs in Portchester and the Filmore East with the acoustic sets followed by NRPS and the electric set were truly amazing. Life changing. It's so great to have these recordings.
Subject: This show and recording are THE TRUTH
The energy and the jamming from NFA until the end of the show is just off the charts.
If you are an anal retentive fan who prefers SBDs this show might not be for you, but for anyone else, it is to me, one of the all-time greats.
Subject: Early Sugar Magnolia
They seemed to really toy with it for awhile before diving in. I also like the way they do the "knew she had to come up soon for air" line here.
Subject: The words needed are unavailable in my mind
Somewhere between Not Fade Away and China Cat I saw Christ
Subject: "yeah!.......yeah!.......oh nooooooooo..."
Could go on a bit re: NRPS and the acoustic stuff, but you know why you are here: that late show electric suite and set. This is one of those sets that sears itself into your brain like a tattoo. After hundreds upon hundreds of Dead shows, there is nothing like this one. Just listen; all praise that can be said has been said below, with words like "holy" often associated. You'll hear why. One of the most intimate, beautiful, tender, joyous, thrilling experiences you'll ever have with the Grateful Dead. That transition from Dark Star into Attics is downright celestial.
Exactly one week after the concert, on my way home to Edmonton, Canada, my pal Dave and I stopped in Winnipeg (and later Calgary) to catch the Dead, The Band, Janis and others on the Festival Express tour. Walking through the crowd with a joint we stumbled into Jerry who joined us and a few others for a smoke. I mentioned that we had been at the Capitol Theater concert and that they were terrific. He gave me a huge smile and said something like (its been 43 years) ''that was a magical night, wasn't it?'' Damn right.
Subject: Dream Set
St. Stephen is over the top.
Subject: One of the very best
Good stage banter and good audience interaction.
Subject: best show ever?
Subject: Thanks Ken & Judy Lee!
Subject: Tight - Focused - Creative
The Dark Star "suite" is 35 minutes that needs to be on the regular listen rack.
Subject: I Was There... Amazing
This was one of the exceptional ones.
Subject: Yea buddy.
Subject: Makes for a Happy New year
Subject: Primal Screams of Joy
What is this foolish ratings system when it comes to this show ?
Every song , but it is the Suite of ,
DarkStar > Attics > DarkStar ( tighten up jam ) > SMags > DarkStar > StStephen
That is the Thrill Ride
Jerry Garcia played 56 songs this night , between 2 sets of electric Dead , 1 set of acoustic Dead , and a set w/ NRPS .
I would use a wish to be there .
I get a kick out of people nitpicking sound quality on early Dead shows. I'm grateful for the sound, no matter the quality. After all, the Grateful Dead on a terrible tape with a dog barking the whole time is a far better record than Dave Matthews in crystal clear HD soundboard!
This show deserves 10 stars. The sound quality of an AUD preserved 40 years later deserves 50 stars. This show, specifically this taping belongs in every Dead fan's MP3 collection.
Subject: note to self
set list looks amazing, everyones talking it up, sure cant wait to experience it!!!
Subject: On the bus
The best "review" may actually be heard on the tape itself, after the killer Pigedelic Easy Wind, from a guy who is apparently at his first show and in the midst of having his face stolen.
"Oh my god ... oh yeeeah," he raves, to which his companion replies, "It's as great this time as the last time I saw 'em." The tripped-out, oh-my-godding guy: "I gotta see 'em again, man!" A moment to which I'm sure many of us can relate. And, believe me, the show for the night has barely begun. Trust the judgment of the oh-my-godding guy and get this show ...
Subject: It was 40 years ago today
Subject: A new riders must
Subject: Auds bring that "being there feeling"....
Having surfed this website and hearing so many awesome soundboards I still get a certain comfort hearing these pristine audience shows. We were all so young and happy participating in these huge parties.
Even the Dead were having fun. They were not the rock stars they were later to become. They were approachable sympathetic guys. On more than one occasion I found myself without a ticket and by the good graces of Bobby Weir I found myself standing(dancing)behind the amps on the stage.
Listen to the interaction between the band and the audience. Everyone was just out to have a good time.
It freaks me out to think that this took place 38 years ago, but I am so grateful for the memories and the years of good times I had seeing the Dead.
This web site is a gift to both those of us that were there and want to go back to remember and to those who weren't even born yet but want a taste of what it was like.
Treasure this site.
I'm not a rating type but I'll give it a 4 for the tremendous memories and knock it down for those of you that can't stand anything less than perfection in recording. This comes close but does have a few glitches.
Added May 28, 2010- I came back for a listen to this and realized that forgot to thank Ken and Judy. While we were all having the time of our lives dancing our asses off they were tending to their tape recorder so that they could get this down. Thanks Ken and Judy!!
Subject: Holy Grail
Subject: The Champ
Subject: Lightning in a bottle.
This set still makes me laugh and cry at the same time. We were almost scared at it's power once we listened to what we had captured.
I've played this night to University Professors and watched the tears roll down their cheeks at the power and majesty of the Dead at their peak.
Jerry played EVERY set, ALL night long, laughing through the whole thing, was there ever such a man such a this?
Some personal reminiscences:
At the end of "I Don't Know You", song 22, second NRPS set,someone, Marmaduke? breaks a string, complaining about having just put them on tonight.
A fan leaning over the balcony(and my tape deck) drops his hat and starts trying to get it back.
I was startled to hear my own voice step in to get that hat back and to get the area quiet again for the rest of the show.
"Hey! Some dude dropped his hat,who found it?
"Throw it up!"
Yep, that's me using my hoarse "command tone" voice to get 'er done. My kids know that tone of voice.
Ah, the explosion at the start of Me And My Uncle, which for the night, we called "Westchester Cowboy" at 1:10 (nice one Bob), was from Boots, a guy who wandered in that night, small dude with a denim jacket that said "BOOTS PYROTECHNIC SERVICES" on the back and proceeded to take the whole theater to the far reaches of the universe with exquisidly placed fireballs.
Again, during dark star listen, you can hear the audience gasp as a giant fireball rolls off his fingers to explode Dead center in the theater.
Good times, indeed.
"Shall we go, you and I while we can" at 7:14 another soft explosion and the audience can be heard laughing with delight and disbelief.
Now, to be sure, there was also a strong chemical presence at these shows. It was the times, almost mandatory. It was all good.
At 8:42 Phils drops some bombs, listen for them, you need good equipment to reproduce them, and you can hear someone saying "Oh My God!"
During the second of three Dark Stars at 5:54 another big ball of fire.
At 2:58 At the end of the third Dark Star, as we can hear St. Steven coming through the mix,
Some ecstatic fan can be heard having my face stolen:
"YEAH, YEAH, OH NO!"
At 3:54 while they sing "One man gathers what another man spills" a perfectly timed
huge fireball starts the drummers off precisely.
And we just kept rolling, the whole show, we were plugged into the mains and batteries were not an issue, every note is here, acoustic Dead, Two sets of New Riders, and then the Electric set. Judy had the keys to the attache case and was there faithfully to flip the tapes and keep the peace. Hitting the switch to light the power indicator now and again to make sure the power was still flowing to the deck. Batteries were in place, just in case of a power interupption, but I prefer 120 volts A.C.
At the end of the night, we both actually got paid for our participation and then home we went in my silver 1964 Mustang, listening to the fresh masters through the stereo or the headphone jacks I had installed around the inside of the car, driving into the dawn and home laughing at having caught lightning in a bottle.
Ken and Judy Lee
Subject: This show is like creeper weed...
Then much later I realized that I had been walking around with a huge smile all day. Cool as the summer breeze...
We are lucky to have this.
Subject: A Treasure
Subject: OH MY GOD!
Subject: One of the great moments
As cool as it would be to have a high quality board of this show, the interaction between Jerry, the rest of the band, and the audience is priceless. You can literally feel it. Circa 2:30 into Dark Star Part 2: Jerry takes it up a notch, the rest follow his lead, then someone in the audience screams. Pure, raw, energy captured on a tape deck 4 decades ago. Unbelievable.
Subject: Thanks for this recording!
Subject: And They Want More!
Personal preference: Acoustic set disc 1, NRPS early show disc 2, NRPS late show disc 3, electric set intro>Uncle disc4, the rest fits nicely onto disc 5 as one meaty chunk. I am playing Portland Woman and Last Lonely Eagle (early show) and All I Ever Wanted (late show) on my radio show this week. Peace
Subject: Port Chester Resurrection Project
My first show was FE 9-18-70.
A couple of years later I got into the tape-trading end of it. I eventually starting getting tapes labeled 11-7-70 and 11-8-70 Portchester.
The music was incredible. Especially the various stuff labeled as 11-7. Only years later was I able to get it all sorted out. Most of the incredible stuff was actually from 11-5 and 11-6.
A few years later I got a tape labeled 6-24-70. The guy was more into "good sounding" tapes, and believe or not, "had no use for it."
Another time I recall meeting someone who knew a Dead Head who was looking for the show that, according to what was written on a piece of paper, indicated Dark Star with a circuitous arrow.
I knew the show he meant.
Thank you so much for doing this work on the incredible shows from this venue. I never made it there ... just a little too young to go someplace not reached by the subway map. Maybe it's a good thing... I don't think I would've made it 'back.' :-)
Thank you so much. These shows, the June one and the Novembers, are the Holy Grails.
One more thing. Please disregard the comments of the people who claim this is not one of the best shows of 70, of June, etc.
It is one of the best Dead shows of this era, without a doubt. I don't know what those people are talking about. This show is incredible, the Dead at their best, for 1970-era.
Subject: Thank You Very Much
Super easy. Very nice show. Especially the Dark Star-> Attics Of My Life-> Dark Star-> Sugar Magnolia-> Dark Star-> Saint Stephen-> China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, E: Uncle John's Band. That's one sweet ditty right there.
Subject: The history of this recording
enjoy this show for what it is...HISTORY!
Subject: Good Lord, yes, get this
Subject: Flac plugin or Burn CD's
Flac Lossless Audio Coder
Subject: How do you listen to this??? THANKS!
Subject: absolutely inspired
Subject: It's good, but not great.
I'm not knocking this show, nor do I intend to, but I believe that the Dead could do better in 1970...hey, it's still better than 99% of the so-called "jam bands" out there.
Decent sound considering the source... I had the Dark Star sequence on tape but it was unlistenable. This is definitely listenable!
Subject: steel jerry
the dead were so young back then so fresh so new
and the riders just add greatness to this magical show ..
i wish dp8 had the the riders on it
This is the vintage Dead sound that will make you smile just because you can. The only main drawback is the confusing organization of discs, but that is easily overcome. Download immediately.
Subject: Absolute Classic - It May Be An AUD, But You Need It Anyway
And the audience at this Port Chester show is having the time of its life for a reason. Even though we're missing the early show electric and late show acoustic sets, and even though the early acoustic set is really somewhat ho-hum, what the taper (who was apparently a security guard at the Capitol Theatre, and therefore had the ability to set his rig up unmolested by...well, by security guards) has managed to capture in the second set is a performance as magical and as any the Dead ever gave.
The electric show found here features a totally unique setlist and SPECTACULARLY high energy by the band. "Not Fade Away" roars, stomps, burbles and choogles, and just when you're expecting it to wind down, it actually kicks UP another notch and heads straight into a razor-blade, swaggering "Easy Wind." That's the first and last time it was ever done, probably because it was a purely spur-of-the-moment inspiration.
And crazy, inspired spur-of-the-moment left turns are what this show is about. The NFA -> "Easy Wind" combo is the BEGINNING of this set, and what follows is one of the most memorable "Dark Star" of any period, which pauses midway through and wheels about into "Attics Of My Life," of all songs, before sliding gently back out again into "Dark Star," and then U-turning AGAIN into a very early version of "Sugar Magnolia" before finally gliding to back into "Dark Star." Oh, but you're not even close to done yet. Look at the setlist that follows this, and realize that everything is gloriously played, and that you're listening to it through a tape which allows you to imagine yourself actually sitting up in the balcony.
Folks, this is literally one of those concerts that justifies the time and effort you put into this group. Download it and cherish it.
Subject: Golden Road
Subject: Sick show w. new riders of the purple sage
Subject: Cosmic Energy
Subject: truely magical
Subject: if you dont know, now you know
Subject: Thank You!
What can I add to what's been said already about this wonderful collection of music? A soundboard would be nice, but this recording sounds great.
Subject: Text file
http://db.etree.org/shninfo_detail.php?shnid=23062. The sound does seem to be much better than for previous versions of this show. Early acoustic Dead, late electric Dead, and both NRPS. Missing early electric Dead and late acoustic Dead.
Subject: The soundtrack of my life
Play this show in your home, play it in your car, play it while you make love. When I die, drop this show into my casket and bury me with a smile on my face. This is the soundtrack of my life.
Uploaded by Jonathan Aizen on